Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 7, 1647-48. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Chap. XXIV. Proceedings in Parliament from February 28. 1647. to April 1. 1648.
Monday, February 28.
The House of Commons this Day further proceeded upon this Declaration, in Answer to the Scots Commissioners last Paper: It is very large, and takes up much time; the chief Scope is, To clear to the World, that the Parliament have and will inviolably observe the Treaties between England and Scotland, and the Covenant to which both Kingdoms have sworn; That they will settle Presbytery with Toleration to tender Consciences, agreeable to the Word of God; also the whole Transaction between England and Scotland is fully discussed, and in relation to the King; also the Carriage of Business with the Commissioners of Scotland, and how far in many Points the Scots Commissioners have rather pretended, than really kept to the Treaties and Covenant. This Debate upon this Declaration took up the whole time this Day, and the House Ordered to proceed as to the finishing of it to Morrow.
Your's of the 15th Instant came safe to my Hands: All that I can send you in return at present of the Affairs of Scotland is briefly thus: The Scots are somewhat unkind, in that they have not appointed a convenient House for the Entertainment of our Commissioners, but they are forced to lodge in Taverns But this is the less to be taken Notice of, because they dealt so likewise with our Commissioners that were last there. They are unwilling that Mr. Marshall shall Preach; they say that he is an Independent, and was a great Mean that the Army was permitted to March through London. The People in Edenburgh, for the most part, speak very scornfully of the English Nation; and many would willingly be in England again, but their own Divisions will, I hope, hinder them; for I see little Sign, but of their falling by the Ears themselves. You in England need not be in such great and continual Fear; settle things well in the South, and then we need not think that the Scots will be the Occasioners of new Troubles in England.
You can expect but little of Consequence hence for the Present (the Parliament of Scotland not yet sitting:) From thence we are certified, That there are great Endeavours to engage a Party against England; but the main Promoters thereof are the Cavaliers, and the honest Presbyters are against it For ought we can perceive of them, they are more like to fall our among themselves, than to injure us.
Our Commissioners have not yet had Audience, nor it's supposed will not, till their Parliament fit. The Scots are something unking to them, in not giving them convenient Accommodation, answerable to that which theirs had in this Nation, or which is expected from Commissioners of Estate in any Nation; but yet that's not worth Notice, for South Country Gentlemen to find Fault with their Lodging in Scotland.
We are busy in the Work of Disbanding. The common Soldiers in the several Counties appointed to be disbanded, are either altogether or well near disbanded and dismist. And as our late Work has been to pull in pieces, so now we are joining together; and I hope, we shall have a better Product (at last) than before, though sewer. The Officers appointed to be disbanded are upon auditing their Accompts, and a good Progress is made in it; and the Business goes on with as much Fairness and Content, both in Officers and Soldiers, as could possible be expected. By this time the Country is not unsensible of the Benefit of Freedom from Free Quarter, which is at this time ceased; and, we hope (if we be supplied with Monies to pay Quarters) will be so continued. The Commissioners for this County are now upon issuing out their Warrants for the speedy raising of the Three Months Assessments now well nigh due, from the end of the Six Months; which will be the better gotten of the Country, because they are now eased of Free Quarter, and the Supernumeraries disbanded; and it has been something forborn till that were done, least they should be too much discouraged. We were so straightened in time before Free Quarter would be taken off, that the Officers were sain to engage till that time, till it could be done, and the Commander in Chief has made in his Care and Trouble (with that little Treasury that is here) to see it discharged himself, to the Satisfaction of the Inhabitants, but the standing Forces will want it for the future, unless care be taken to supply them, and the Money be better paid than that lately consigned by the Committee of the Army, out of the Counties of Lancashire and Lincolnshire.
It is now some Months since mention was made in Print of an Information against Dr. Layfield, by one Mr. Diggle, Minister; who accused him of counterseting the General's Hand and Seal in a particular Cause. The Business has been under strict Examination by the General and his Council of War; but no good Proof or Ground appearing to make good the said Information, the Court-Marshal made this ensuing Certificate to acquit Dr. Layfield; which we publish for better Satisfaction.
Forasmuch as an Information, amongst other Things, was heretofore exhibited by John Diggle, Minister of Chiding ford, against Dr. Layfield, for counterfeiting the General's Hand and Seal to a Warrant for the apprehending the Body of the said Mr. Diggle for making good the said information, altho' he has had convenient Time, and a Day appointed for the Hearing and Determining the same This Court doth therefore think fit and Order, That the said Dr. Layfield be discharged of the said Information. And as to that part of the Information, charging the said Doctor for counterfeiting the General's Warrant, as aforesaid, This Court doth hold it altogether matter of Vexation, without any just Cause.
There was also something published in one of the Weekly Sheets not long since, of a Design amongst some Officers holding a Council at Broadway, in Worcestershire, against Glocester; wherein, amongst others, some Officers of Col. Herbert's Regiment were said to be concerned, but very unjustly accused, as may appear by the Certificate following; which we publish for better Satisfaction.
Forasmuch as it has been set forth in several printed Papers, That the Officers of the Regiment of Foot under the Command of Col. Herbert, amongst others, held a Debate at Broadway, in Worcestersbire, about the 22d of January last, for the Suprizal of Glocester and Hartlebury-Castle, &c. These are therefore (at their Desire) to certisie whom it may concern, That Capt. Short, together with the Lieutenant-Colonel, the Major, Captain, and other Commission Officers and Soldiers of the said Regiment, entered into this County of Somerset upon the 13th of January last to Quarter, and have ever since continued here, attending from time to time upon us, and the rest of the Commissioners of Parliament, for the Receipt of such Monies as has been allotted them upon their Disbanding: Whereby it manifestly appears, That the Imputation laid upon them is altogether untrue. Witness our Hands at Somerton, this 11th of February, 1647.
Tuesday, February 29.
The Lords this Day concurred with the Commons in the Votes, That none shall raise any Men to serve as Soldiers within the City of London, or Ten Miles round, and none in any Part of England and Wales, having not Warrant from the Committee at Derby-House to transport beyond Sea.
The Lords had Letters read from the English Commissioners in Scotland, that they sent in a Paper to the Committee of Estates, desiring to be heard in the Behalf of the Parliament of England, concerning the clearing of any thing that shall be excepted against. The Lord Chancellor objected against their Letters of Credence, because directed to the Parliament of Scotland then broke up. The Commissioners acquainted the Committee of Estates, by Papers delivered to his Lordship, That they have Instructions to the Committee also from both Houses of the Parliament of England, desiring that they may be heard.
Letters this Day from Dublin, dated Feb. 29. tell of the gallant Proceedings of Col. Jones, in his late March from Dublin, Feb. 3. in the County of Kildare. The Particulars briefly are thus certified: 'Col. Jones, notwithstanding the necessitous Condition of the Soldiers, as to all manner of Accommodation, and the City of Dublin much in the same Condition, marched thence Feb. 3. towards the ancient Town of Kildare, then in the Possession of the Enemy; wherein lay Two Companies of theirs, commanded by one Major Monday, and Capt. Cusack. February 5. Col. Jones faced Kildare with Horse and Foot, and sent a Trumpet to summon the Place. They within desired to Parle; which granted, after long Debate they were content to take Quarter, to march away with their Arms and weighty Baggage the next Day. During the time of this Parle, an Accident happen'd at the Enemy's Garrison of Tully, some half a Mile off Kildare; a House close to the Castle took Fire, our Soldiers ran down amain thither; a commanded Party was also sent, and at the Gate Fell Pell Mell to work, and forcing the Gate, a Corporal of Horse and a Lieutenant of Foot were shot. Our Men entred and got Possession of the Church close to the chief House, and there remained till Night. Sunday he marched again to Kildare, to attend the performing of the Treaty, sending Sir Thomas Armstrong with a Party of Horse to summon the several Castles of Rathbridge, Ellistowne and Geydonstowne, in Possession, of the Enemy. About Two of the Clock the Enemy marched forth; Lieut. Col. Rives was appointed to take Possession of the Place. Mr. Sarsefield, of the Garrison of Tully, came to the General, and one Capt. Rawson of our Party was sent in: Sarsefield took Quarter; there marched thence Ten Musqueteers. This Night we quartered at Tully, where Sir Tho. Armstrong brought the General, Mr. Ash, to treat about the Castle of Ellistowne, and also that the Castle of Rathbridge would take Quarter; and that they of the Castle of Geydonstowne had quitted the Place, leaving it for us. Monday the General marched from Tully to Kildare, settling and leaving Lieut. Col. Hewson, in Garrison at Kildare, Tully, and Three or Four other Castles thereabouts. Then he marched to a Garrison of the Enemies, a Castle called Lackoge, a strong Place taken heretofore by Ordnance, and retaken by the Earl of Castlehaven: This Place commands this part of the Country: The Army being drawn up before it, the Castle was summoned, they took Quarter and yielded the Castle. The General sent from hence to summon the Castles of Punser's-Grange and Drynanstone; the latter desired time till the next Day to consider, the former absolutely refused to yield: This of Nurvy and Walterstowne sent to treat for their Castles. The Castle of Dooveny submitted, and were content to receive a Garrison of ours: The General appointed Capt. Leigh to Garrison Dooveny. This Night the Rebels set on fire a very fair House, the Lord Viscount Lostus of Ely, within Three Miles of us.
'Tuesday the General sent to the Castles of Punser-Grange and Drynanstone again, to know their Resolution; who were content to yield; wherein the General placed Garrisons. Wednesday he marched from Lackoge through Kildare, and thence to a Garrison of the Enemies, called Iron-Hill, a Castle upon a very strong pass; this Castle being summoned, refused to yield, until we had some Short with our Ordnance at it; whereupon our Party then abroad being drawn up, consisting of some 1500 Foot, and some 800 Horse, we were forced to attend them all Night in the open Field, being a very fore Night; a commanded Party was sent to summon the Castle. The General gave Order, and set People to work, to have the Battery made ready, and the Ordnance drawn up against Morning.
'Thursday, by break of Day, the General was at the Battery, and after Four Shot a Parley beat, and they accepted of Quarter, to march away with their Arms. He sent from hence to Two Castles, Garrisons of the Enemies, called Brownstowne and Ballifax, who were content to take Quarter.
'Saturday, Feb. 12. He marched to the City of Dublin. In this Journey he took the several Castles aforesaid, and brought the Castles of Kilrush, Tymolin and Blackrath under Contribution, much enlarging the English Quarters; General Preston lying all this while at the Castle of Catherlagh, within Eight Miles of us, until Fear made him remove to Morriborough. Mac-Thomas set fire on the Villages, Corn and Hay about his Garrison, for fear of being besieged. The Weather being bad, and our Men miserably naked for want of Shopes and Clothes, and indeed disabled by all imaginable Necessities, we could not longer keep Abroad.
Amongst the Letters this Week from beyond Sea, we cannot but take Notice of one, telling strange Stories in Relation to the Affairs of this Kingdom; and 'tis worth the observing what Credit such Fictions gain Abroad. The Letter runs thus:
From Leyden, February 20.
Letters from Scotland encourage the English Royalists here, with Assurance they shall be taken in if any Breach be, or Design against England of which they must expect more the next: that the Success will be good they make no question, for when the Crows and the Daws fought in the Bishoprick of Durham, the Southern Army was beaten. And because there was some Question of the Truth of this, it was ratified by an Express unto Sir W.B. out of England, as himself faith. The next remarkable Story here is, That the Army Forces have fought with the Citizens of London, and that half London was burnt: and this was so told, and from such Hands, that many Thousands believed it. There is a Jesuit converted to the Reformed Religion; of which he gave so clear a Testimony to the Churches of Rochel, where he lived, that they sent him to Leyden to Salmuious Splanheym to confirm him. Oneale, who broke out of the Tower of London, and of the Bed-Chamber, is lately come to the Hague from France. The States of several Provinces meet suddenly, to carry on the perfecting of the Peace with Spain, Articles whereof are now in Print.
The French go on with their Levy here for Flanders. There are great Endeavours by many to make a Difference between these Countries and France, and widen the little Crevice now appearing. The Brazil Fleet, by lying still in these Parts, is so much wasted, that there is raised anew 21 Companies for Recruit. The French and Sea-Sweeds pursue the Imperial and Bavarian Forces, and are past a good while since the Rhine and Maine.
The Declaration called, The King of England's to all his Subjects of whatever Nation, is brought hither, and is since Printed in French and Dutch, and with great Diligence disperst; it's Dated at Carisbrook, the 18th of January. This Gentleman, Mr. Odert, that took most Pains in it, is since made the Prince's Royal Secretary. Mr. Strickland is not yet come hither. There has been many Storms at Sea lately.
Wednesday, March 1.
The House of Commons this Day, according to former Order, took into Consideration the Business of the Church; and where as the House had formerly ordered that the Classis of the several Counties of the Kingdom should be returned by the 15th of April next, in respect that Time was too soon to prepare that Business) they ordered that a Return should be made for the Classis of the several Counties of the Kingdom by the First of May next.
A Message this Day came from the Lords, whereby their Lordships desired the Concurrence of the House of Commons to have Hampton-Court made ready for the King's Children to remain there this next Summer. This Business occasioned a Rumour about London, that the King was to be removed from the Isle of Wight to Hampton-Court, but no such thing. The Commons agreed with the Lords in the said Ordinance.
The House then considered of preserving the Trade of Fishing, which is of great Use and Benefit to the Kingdom; and for that Purpose they ordered that a Guard of Ships be speedily prepared for guarding the Northern Coasts, and the Trading of Fishing there.
The Commons received a Petition from the Commissioners of the Customs of the Kingdom, concerning the great Sums charged upon them, the Comings in being small, the Receipts not able to defray it. The House Ordered, That Mr. Tombs should bring in his Papers, and the Accounts to be perfected. As for the Advance Monies, it is moved to be out of Delinquents Estates not yet discovered.
Thursday, March 2.
The House this Day Ordered, That the Speaker should issue out his Warrants to the Clerk of the Crown for issuing out of a Writ for Election of a Burgess to fit in Parliament for the Town of Aldburgh, in the County of York, in the Place of Major Scot, deceased.
They likewise Ordered, That the Speaker should grant the like Warrant for the issuing out of a Writ for electing of Two Burgesses to serve for the Town of Bodwin, in the County of Cornwall, in the Places of Mr. Arundel, deceased, and Mr. Anthony Nicholls, One of the Nine Impeached Members, who is disabled ever to fit as a Member of Parliament.
The House then proceeded, according to former Order, to the Business of disposing the Great Seal of England; and Ordered, That the Right Honourable the Earl of Kent, Sir Thomas Widdrington, Kt. Recorder of the City of York, and Bulstrode Whitlock, Esq: should be Commissioners for the Great Seal of England.
A Letter this Day came from the Committee of the County of Pembrook, giving the House an Account of the Treaty between Col. Fleming and Mr. Poyer, formerly Mayors of Pembrook, and now Governor of the said Castle; that he refused to deliver up the said Castle to Adjutant General Fleming, who hath a commission from his Excellency to be Governor thereof, in Contempt of the Orders of that House, and the commands of his Excellency. The House hereupon Ordered, That a Committee should draw up an Ordinance of Parliament in this Business, and Report it to Morrow Morning the first Business.
Friday, March 3.
The House Ordered this Day, That Mr. Speaker should grant his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown for Election of a Burgess to serve in Parliament for the Town of Maldon in the County of Essex, in the Place of Sir John Clotwarthy, One of the Eleven Impeached Members, who was formerly disabled to fit as a Member of this House.
A Letter this Day came from the Committee of Kent; concerning the Proportions of that County upon the Ordinance for the Maintenance of the Army; which the House ordered to be referred to the Grand Committee, who were ordered to consider thereof, and to fit this Afternoon.
The House Ordered, That the Arrears of Col. Hammond, Governor of the Isle of Wight, should be audited; and that Persons be sent to him for that Purpose, he being employed upon special Service in the said Island.
The House of Lords sent Answer to a Message of the House of Commons on Wednesday last, That they do agree in the Order for the Committee at Derby-House, to send the Answer of both Houses to the Scots Papers, concerning the Disposal of the Person of the King, to the Parliament's Commissioners in Scotland, to be delivered to the Parliament of Scotland from the Parliament of England.
Saturday, March 4.
The House this Day had great Debate upon some particular Quarrels, that were lately occasioned upon some private Discontents; and finding the Inconveniency thereof to be of sad Concernment between Friends amongst themselves, and the Enemies amongst us, who wait for any Opportunity of Revenge; Ordered, That a Committee should be appointed to draw up an Ordinance to prevent and suppress all Private Duels and Quarrels whatsoever.
Whereas Col. Poyer, having the Command of Pembrook-Castle, hath willfully refused to deliver the said Castle of Pembrook, according to the Direction of the General Sir Thomas Fairfax. And whereas the House of Commons, upon Information thereof, did by a Letter from the Speaker, and an Order of the House, require the said Col Poyer to render the said Castle as the General had directed; who hath notwithstanding, in great Contempt and Disobedience, refused to surrender the same, and holds the same by Force, and doth both Victual and Strengthen himself therein, to the Prejudice of the Publick Peace, and the endangering of a new War.
It is Ordained, and be it Ordained by the Lords and Commons now Assembled in Parliament, That if the said Col. Poyer shall not within Twelve Hours after Notice hereof surrender the said Castle, with all the Arms, Ordnance, and Ammunition (as the General hath directed) that then Col. Poyer, and all that shall adhere to him, are hereby declis Adherents to Justice.
This Ordinance being sent to the General, his Excellency hath took Order for sending the same to the Commander in Chief of the Forces before Pembrook Castle, who is to send it into the Castle; and if after Twelve Hours, the Castle be not surrendered unto him, he is to use Means for taking of it by Force; and to that Purpose more Forces are designed form Glocester to assist him, and Col. Rainsborough is also sent unto at Sea, to send Shipping to block up the Harbour before the Castle.
The House was this Day informed that the Surveyor of the Customs was at the Door, he was called in, and presented his Reply to the Answer of the Commissioners of the Customs, their Receipts and Disbursements. The House, upon Debate thereof, Ordered the whole Business to be referred to a Committee, which was named for that Purpose, who had Power to appoint Auditors and Accomptants in this Business.
A Letter was drawn up directed to the several Judges in their Circuits, for putting in execution the several Ordinances of Parliament and Statutes for the Maintenance of Maimed Soldiers, which was assented unto A Committee also was appointed for removing all Obstructions in bringing in the Monies for Maintenance of Maimed Soldiers.
By Letters from Capt. Penne of one of the Parliament's Ships, lying upon the Western Coast, we understood of the taking of Three French Ships bound for Limrick and Galloway with Supplies for the Irish Rebels, their Lading was chiestly Salt and Wine, as well Spanish as French, with some other Commodities, and some Musquets, Powder and Match.
Monday, March 6.
This Day an Ordinance was reported to the House of Commons and read, for the further Establishment and Maintenance of the Army under the Command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, to be renewed for Six Months longer; the Date of the former Ordinance being near expired: which was assented unto, and ordered to be sent to the Lords for their Concurrence.
The House of Commons upon Debate, that the Courts in White-Hall, made formerly for the King's Guard, should be sold, and the Proceed thereof should be employed for the buying of the Fire and Cantle for the Forces Quartered in White-Hall, and likewise for the Forces quartered in the Mewse.
The House this Day had Debate concerning Malignants refusing to compound. or that have not effectually prosecuted their Compositions, and they past an Order, That the Committee of Goldsmith's-Hall should have Power to send for such Delinquents as have entred their Names at Goldsmiths-Hall, and have not effectually prosecuted their Compositions, and likewise for such as refuse to compound, and commit them to safe Custody as they shall see Occasion.
The House was informed of one Mr. Petty, who hath found out an Art of Double Writing, to write Two Copies at once, and that he desired a Patent for Teaching of the same, under the Great Seal of England for certain Years; and the House hereupon Ordered, That a Patent should pass under the Great Seal to the said Mr. Petty for Seventeen Years, to teach his Art of double Writing.
A Letter was read from our Commissioners of Scotland, acquainting the House, That according to their Instructions they had drawn up and presented a Message to the Committee of Estates of Scotland, and to be by them presented to the Parliament of Scotland at their Sitting; in Answer to some Papers presented to them from the Committee of Estates. The Answer consisteth of these Three Heads:
- 1. That it was the Desire of the Parliament and Kingdom, to maintain a good Correspondency between the Two Nations.
- 2. That this Kingdom would take speedy Care for advancing the Hundred Thousand Pounds due unto their Kingdom; and that so long as that Sum, or any part thereof should be forborn, they shall have Interest after the Rate of Eight per Cent. for the same.
- 3. That the Arrears due to the Scots Army in Ireland, They desired that the Parliament of Scotland would either propound a certain Sum by the Lump, for the Service of that Army there; or else to appoint Commissioners on their Side, and Commissioners to be appointed on our Side to repair into Ireland, to audite the Accompts of that Army.
The great Discourse in England (no doubt at this time) is what will be the Conclusions of the Parliament at Edenburgh, which begins to Morrow being Thursday, March 2. More than Conjectures cannot this Return be expected. Our Commissioners, who now have a House, and removing from their Inn, have presented Papers to the Committee of Estates, for better holding firm a good Friendship between the Two Nations. That for what Money was due in February and is not paid, there shall be Satisfaction and Use after Eight per cent. until it be paid. And for their Army in Ireland, it shall be either contented by the Great; or, if they please, the Accompts agreed by Commissioners upon the Place. There is talk of a Committee made, called, The Committee of Danger; the Army being continued until such a time, and then to be disbanded if no Danger appeared. The Committee of Estates have appointed Six of the late Scots Commissioners and Members of the Committee sitting at Derby-House, to receive the Papers, or what is or shall be presented from the Parliament of England. The Lord Lowden, when he left his Majesty, had commanded to make Five Gentlemen, most of his Kindred, Knights, which was accordingly done; so that there are at this time, Newcastle Knights, Isle of Wight Knights, and Chequer Knights. The Ministers of the graver fort press much for the Holdfast of First Love, saying, That Amity with England cannot hurt; and there are many Particulars in the Covenant requisite to be kept inviolable, as well as throwing down of Sects and Schisms. They, it's said, have declared against a War with England, and renounce all Combinations and Associations with the Malignants of either Kingdom. This is presented to the Convention. It's reported that Sir Tho. Glenham is expected from France, with a Message from the Queen. Also Sir Lewis Dives. Sir Marmaduke Langdale, and Sir Charles Lucas are looked for in Scotland. This is certain, That very many disaffected to the Parliament who live in these Parts, flock to Edenburgh, to see how the Game plays. Mr. Marshall, not being smiled upon, inclines to a return. Mr. Herle has Preached Publickly, and was well liked, only he Prayed not for the King; he pressed stifly the Covenant, and also against Sectaries.
Tuesday, March 7.
An Ordinance was this Day read in the House of Commons, for setling certain Lands of the Earl of Worcester's on Lieutenant General Cromwell and his Heirs for ever, amounting to the Yearly Value of 2500 l. according to the Votes long since past, in Recompence of the great extraordinary Services done by the said Lieutenant-General to this Kingdom, was read and assented unto, and ordered to be sent to the Lords for their Concurrence.
The House this Day Ordered, That the Place of Chancellor of the Dutchy should be transferred upon Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Mr. Miles Corbet, and Mr. Goodwin. They were likewise appointed Registers of the Chancery, instead of Col. Long, One of the Eleven Impeached Members.
The Additional Instructions for our Commissioners in Scotland, concerning the Miscarriage of the Scots Commissioners in this Kingdom, was read, and upon a great Debate passed that House. Of the large Declaration in answer to the Scots Papers past both Houses likewise this Day, and Ordered to be Printed. The rest of this Day was spent upon the Report from the Committee of Goldsmiths-Hall: Sir Jacob Ashly, and divers other Compositions were then allowed of and past.
May it please Your Excellency,
We look upon it as a great Affliction, that in this great Juncture of Affairs, we are constrained to make this sudden Address by these Messengers, to your Honour; our Resolutions were to have sat quiet under your Excellency's Commands, in the willing Reception of Col. Overton, that so we might hold forth to the World a full and free Testimony of our Integrity and constant Endeavours to give all just Satisfaction in any thing that might conduce to the Establishment of an unsettled Kingdom. And although in some things of Moment we have not attained our earnest Desires and Expectations, yet shall we never in the least decline that Cause wherein we have appeared, and to which we stand engaged by so many deep Obligations; and truly, which had we not had that honourable Attestation from you which you lately vouchsafed to us, in relation to our former faithful Services, we could scarcely have restrained our selves from a publick Vindication, to wipe off those foul Imputations laid upon us by some warm spirited and inconsiderate Men, who defame our Magistrates, discourage our Ministers, threaten the Oppression of our Persons; and, to face their Insolencies the better, they would render us as Men of by Interests, and disaffected Persons to the Cause we have undertaken; the very Thought of which we do utterly abhor. We trust all our Actions may be a full Commentary of the Truth of our Affections from the beginning of the Kingdom's Troubles unto this Day, (viz.) our chearful receiving of Mr. Hotham, in relation to the Parliament's Commands, when a full Refusal to the Earl of Newcastle, our readiness to comply with Sir J. Hotham, in the Preservation of the Magazine, a thing of high Concernment; our apprehending him in the Nick of the Kingdom's Necessities, upon Suspicion of intended Treachery; and that without the Assilance, yea, or Approbation of Strangers; our Care to give timely Notice to the Lord Fairfax, your noble Father, to come and take Sanctuary with us in his lowest Condition; our readiness to supply his Soldiers with large Sums of Money, for their better Subsistance and Encouragement; our Vigilance in Service when we are beleaguered, being at all times desirous not only to assist within, but willing to adventure and hazard our dearest Lives in beating up the Enemies Quarters without the Town, and this with special Reference to the Publick Safety; our absolute rejecting of many strong Temptations from the Earl of Newcastle, the Earl of Kingston; Sir Tho. Glymham, Col. Ashburnham, Commissary Windham, and others, who daily courted us with large and fair Promies, in case we would deliver up the Town when it was wholly in our Power; our Petition to the High and Honourable Court of Parliament, for the Right Honourable the Lord Fairfax to be our Governor, and after him your Excellency. These, and many other Particulars, not needful to be mention'd at this time, we could insist upon, to vindicate us from all those unchristian and execrable Calumnies cast upon us by too many, at whose Hands we have better deserved. And yet, notwithstanding all these, we had resled altogether silent, in Conscience of our own Innocency, had not our present Governor, Col. Overron, your Excellency's Substitute, endeavoured to have imposed upon us, the Free-born People of England, the Burden of Free Billet; and that even now, when our Expectations were raised to reap the Fruits of all our former Services in Peace and Quiet, with the rest of our dear Brethren in this Kingdom, constantly paying our full Proportions in the usual Assesments. The Premises considered, we cannot but unseignedly profess that our Hearts are much saddened and filled with such Jealousies, that we cannot but apprehend our present Distractions, as things that bode a most uncomfortable Event, if we be not relieved and eased by your Excellency of a Burthen so full of Inconveniencies; which we humbly conceive the only best way to appease our Differences for the present, and to prevent our Disquiet for the future. We have exceeded the Bounds of a Letter, but we rest confident your Excellency will pardon us, and both do God that Honour, and us that Right to believe, that in all things that may stand with our Duty to God, our Fidelity to the High and Honourable Court of Parliament, and our Affections and Observance to you, we shall be most ready to manifest our selves to be
The General gave Answer to this Petition or Letter, That he thought it unreasonable that the Town of Hull should be exempted from Billet more than any other part of the Kingdom, and it being allowed by Ordinance of Parliament; and that he should use his Endeavour in what else might conduce to the Good of the Town.
Wednesday, March 8.
They also considered of Providing for Reformadoes and Widows of Soldiers slain in the War, of which there are Thousands. They likewise sent a Message to the Lords, that they would go on with the Proceedings against Judge Jenkins.
A Petition was presented to the House of Peers from the Impeached Lords, all but the Lord Willoughby of Parham, desiring a further Day to bring in their Answer, because the Counsellors assigned them are some of them out of Town, upon which the Lords granted them time until the Twelfth of April next.
An Ordinance was also reported that was formerly Committed, for the Sale of certain Lands of the Earl of Newcastle, in the County of Nottingham, to Col. Whaley, who has done good Service to this Kingdom; which was assented unto, and ordered to be sent to the Lords for their Concurrence.
An Ordinance was also read for Payment of the Sum of Nine Thousand and odd Pounds to poor Widows and Soldiers Wives, who have Monies due unto them for the several Services of their Husbands, whose Accompts were audited and their Names listed in a Book by itself, and their poor Condition recommended by his Excellency.
The House then considered of the great Pains and Charges of the Auditors, who by special Order of the House of Commons, were appointed to audit these Accompts, and ordered a Reward for the said Pains.
Many other private Businesses were expected to be heard, but deferred till Tuesday next; and a Committee was appointed to file all the private Petitions that were offered to be read this Day, that they may be read on Wednesday next, as that Committee shall sign them.
Thursday, March 9.
The House this Day, according to former Order, considered of the Message sent down from the Lords on Saturday last, concerning the Engagements entred into by the several Members of both Houses, who withdrew themselves into the Army upon the Force on both Houses.
This Business admitted of much Dispute in the House of Commons and at last came to his Resolution, (viz.) That the House finding is the said Engagement of the Members forced by the Tumults from Westminster, and subscribed August 4. 1647. Matters testifying a Zeal to the Publick, and a Resolution to vindicate the Honours and Freedom of Parliaments, and fully believing the Intention of the Subscribers to be the same, do approve and confirm the subscribing of the said Engagement.
The House this Day further Ordered, That the Committee of Goldsmiths-Hall should appoint such Person or Persons as they should think fit, to return an Account to the several Members of the House, what Augmentations of Livings are compounded from the several Counties, to the End that Care may be taken for making good what has been granted by way of Augmentation.
The House Ordered, That Sir John Strangway's Petition should be read, the Substance whereof was humbly to implore the Mercy of the Parliament to let him be admitted to his Composition for his Delinquency, at such Rates as that Honourable House should think fit.
Friday, March 10.
The House of Commons this Day Ordered an Ordinance to be drawn up for the Election of a Lord-Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council-Men for the City of York, in the same manner as the Ordinance was for the City of London.
They likwise appointed certain Members of their House to carry up to the Lords, the Vote upon the Engagement of the Members of both Houses that went down to the Army, which was done accordingly. Their Lordships returned Answer thereto by Messengers of their own.
They further Ordered, That the Consideration of the Confession of Faith should be resumed on Friday next, as to that part thereof which was recommitted; and this Business took up the time of the whole Day.
Saturday, March 11.
The House this Day, according to former Order, considered of dreining the Fens in the County of Lincoln, it being a Business of great Concernment, and the House has spent much time in Debate thereof, and the further Debate of this Business is to be resumed the next Week.
The Committee of Accompts this Day presented a Petition to the House of Commons; to many Particulars therein the House gave them present Satisfaction, and the other part thereof was committed. These Two Businesses took up the whole Day in Debate.
This Day by Letters from the North we understood further, 'That the Horse before-mentioned, that marched by the way of Lancester, into Cumberland and Westmorland towards the Borders, were Capt. Wogan's Troop, and the Captain with them, who having before flighted several Orders from the General for Disbanding his Troop as Supernumeraries, then Quartered in Worcestershire, took this Design in Hand to march with them to the Borders, thinking to meet with Entertainment in Scotland; and for the better Passage, counterfeit the General's Hand to an Order for their March. They are not as yet marched further than Kendall, and many miss of an Invitation from Scotland as they expected. In the mean time, the General understanding fully of this Business, hath sent away Dispatches to Col. Lambert, Commander in Chief of the Northern Forces, also to the Sherifts of Cumberland and Westmorland to use all Means for stopping, apprehending, or dispersing of that pretended Troop of Capt. Wogan's or any other's marching towards the Borders, upon what Pretence whatsoever, and to deal with them as no other but Disturbers of the Publick Peace.
'There is nothing further from Scotland as yet; the Parliament's first sitting at Edenburgh was on Thursday last. Some common Reports there are of a Vote past to maintain the Union betwixt both Kingdoms, and that there be no new War. We have good hope the Truth of this and further will be confirmed by the next Returns hence, which will be within a Day or two.
Monday, March 13.
This Day, according to former Order, the House took into consideration the several Impeachments of High Treason against Sir John Gayer, Knight, Alderman, and late Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Bunce, Alderman Adams, and Alderman Langham.
In the first Place the Impeachment against Sir John Gayer was read, and the Proofs to every Article against him; upon which the House being fully satisfied to the Matter against him, they voted and past every of the said Articles one by one.
The House then Ordered, That the several Articles of Impeachment should be sent to the Lords, and their Lordships to be acquainted that the House is ready to make good the Charge against the said several Aldermen.
The House was then informed that Col. Welden, Governor of the Garrison of Plimouth, had engaged himself to many Inhabitants of Plimouth for several Sums of Money, for Provisions and Necessaries for the Soldiers of that Garrison. The House therefore ordered to approve of what he had done therein, and referred the Business to be made in readiness, so as Payment may be made thereof.
The House had by Letters this Day further to understand of Capt. Wogan's Horse, and other Force who were disbanded by his Excellency's Order, that marched into Westmorland and Cumberland, in Order to their Advance from Scotland; and that his Excellency had sent to Major General Lambert to seize on the said Forces, or any other Straglers marching towards Scotland, and to keep Guards for that Purpose at all the main Passages in the North.
The House further Ordered in Prosecution of this Business, That the Parliament of Scotland should be desired by the Parliament, to give Order for the seizing and apprehending of all such Forces as aforesaid, as shall march into Scotland; they being desperate discontented Persons, who endeavour to soment new Differences, and would engage the Two Kingdoms in a National Quarrel.
The House further Ordered, That on Thursday next the House should consider of the several Articles upon Surrender of Garrisons, and that the Doubts therein may be explained, and the Matter of Fact stated, that the Honour of the Parliament, the General, and the Army may be maintained, without Violation in any part of the said Articles.
The Committee of Accompts made certificate to the House of Commons of the true State of the Business prosecuted by Alexander Goring against Robert Thornton, late Mayor of Londonderry, deceased; desiring a Course might be taken for the securing of the Estate of the said Robert Thornton, towards the Satisfaction of the Sum of 26000 l. and upwards, wherewith the said Mr. Goring charged him for Provisions for Relief of the poor distressed Protestants in Londonderry, and other Publick Monies, which the said Mr. Thornton had no ways satisfied or discounted for before his Death. Whereupon it was Ordered, That the Committee of Lords and Commons for Irish Affairs in the Star Chamber, should examine, state, and report the same to the House.
We may not pass by without some mention of the Houses Declaration this Day, in Answer to the Scots Commissioners Papers, which being so large, we will only touch at One or Two Chief Heads a little, to satisfy the more common Objections, and pass the rest by. The main Point in question then is, Whether the Kingdom of Scotland have an Interest in the Matter of our Propositions or Bills containing our Desires for a Foundation of Peace, upon the Eighth Article of the Treaty? To which the House gave this Answer:
1. The Declaration of both Houses of the 20th of June, 1647. by them cited, is expresly contrary to this Claim, which being communicated to the Sors Commissioners, and they returning no Reply, the Houses proceed upon Supposition that the Right was acknowledged unto them.
2. No impartial Man can read that Article of the Treaty but he must needs agree, that it could be meant only whiles there was a War and Armies on both sides in being; and that it must of Necessity end when the War is at an end, and that there is no more Enemy; which is often acknowledged by the Scots Commissioners in their Papers. And indeed, What Peace can be made where there is no War? and with whom, when there is no Enemy? Such an Article as this in all joint Wars undertaken by Princes or States associated against the Common Enemy, and taketh Place where the War ends by contract, not where the Enemies are subbed; the plain and clear Intention and Equity of the Article being. That one should not by Treaty secure himself, and leave the other in Danger; but doth in no sort interest the one State in the Particulars, Ends, and Concernments of the other, nor make the due Judge of the others Interests; as If France by their Association with Holland should challenge an Interest what Proportion of Liberty, the State of Holland should have in relation to the Government of the King of Spain, or what Religion they should have in their Province.
Having answered all the Exceptions taken by the Scots Commissioners against our last P opositions, and against the Way of our Address in our last Message to the King in the Isle of Wight, and the Matter of these Four Bills being such is the Scotch Commissioners had often before agreed unto (except the Declaratory Law concerning the Adjournment of the Parliament, wherein they can pertend no Colour of Interest) and the rest (if there had been any such Cause of Exception) being subjected to a Treaty; We cannot understand why the Scots Commissioners should write in that Manner they did in the Isle of Wight, to the endangering of a Breach and Division between the Nations; which by the Wisdom of our Brethren of Scotland, joined with our Endeavours, and by the Blessing of God upon both, we hope will be prevented. Is not the Cause the some in relation to the King and his Party? Are not the King and his Party the same to the Cause that ever they were? Wherein have we departed from our Principles? Wherein have they departed from theirs, that the Scots Commissioners Minds and Language should be so changed towards us and them? Is not the Brotherly Union of the Two Kingdoms as beneficial, as necessary now as ever? Is not a Division between them as dangerous, as destructive as ever? Is not this the only Means for the Popish Prelatical Function in Foreign Parts, having shaved off the Locks of our Strength, to break in upon us, and lay us waste on every side; What Reformation of Religion, or of Government and Discipline can our Brethren of Scotland expect from the King and his Party, rather than from the Parliament, the professed Design of that Party being to bring in Episcopacy, which may bring in their Popish Innovations again, which may bring in Popery? How then will the Expectations and Prayers of all the Reformed Churches beyond the Seas be turned into Lamentation and Despair, if either Kingdom should help the King and his Party to destroy the other? What can it expect from them but Polyphemus's Curtesy, to be last de voured? We desire that all in both Kingdoms that are faithful to this Cause may lay these things to Heart; and God give us Wisdom to mark those that make Divisions amongst us, and to discern from what Source they flow, even from the old Fountain of all our Evils: and is it now a time to set it open, and let it have free Course, before it sends forth more wholesom, and not such poysoned Waters, to divide us amongst our selves? That as they have had it always in design to make us dye like Evil doers and Traitors, we may also destroy our selves like Fools, and so become at once the Object both of our Enemies Cruelty and of their Scorn, and render our selves a Reproach, a By-Word, and a Hissing to all the Nations round about us.
'From Scotland the Letters this Week afford little Variety of News. The chief Business since the sitting of the Parliament at Edenburgh has been, to examine the undue Election of their Members; divers upon false Election have been ejected. Several Addresses have been made by our Commissioners, but as yet no Proceeding. The Lord Lowden is made President. Mr. Marshall hath had civil Usage and Respect from the Divines; he Preached the last Lord's Day with very good liking. There has come from his Majesty Commission to make several Lords and Earls, as Mr. Maul, who lately was with him, is made an Earl; Col. Cockerham, who was employed to Denmark, a Lord. The coming of certain Horse into Scotland by the way of Cumberland (mentioned last Week) gave Alarm to the Borders, it extended to Edenburgh: The English Commissioners undertook they were not any by Authority of Parliament: They are Two Hundred in a Body, and known to profess for the King. Very many out of England and from Parts beyond Sea, are come into Scotland. The Divines have presented their Resolutions against adhering to, or joining with the King and his Party. It's said, the King has written to the Commissioners of the Kirk a Letter, which they Voted of a dangerous Consequence: And that there was some of the Kirk joined with the Committee of Danger, who have in Consideration these Particulars; First, The Danger of Religion in both Kingdoms. Secondly, The carrying on of the Covenant. Thirdly, The State of the King. Fourthly, Monarchical Government. Fifthly, The Danger Scotland is in. And, Lastly, The Union of the Two Kingdoms. These Heads, if any thing appears amiss, they are to consider and propound Remedies. They that are most Zealous for the King give out, That if they cannot bring their Desires about by Parliament, they doubt not to do it another way.
'The English Horse that are come into Scotland are not received; they lie at their own Charge, and pay Quarter; which will suddenly exhaust their small Quantity of Money brought out of England. The new Lords sit in Parliament, viz. Mr. Maul and Col. Cockerham. They say the other Two that had Honour are, the Lord Traquire and the Lord Callendor, both made Marquesses.
Tuesday, March 14.
The House then also considered of an additional and explanatory Ordinance for Sale of Bishops Lands, which admitted of much Debate, and at last was assented unto, and ordered to be sent up to the Lords for their Concurrence.
The House had Consideration of a Petition, from a Citizen of London, who had Monies owing him upon Bond from a Peer of this Kingdom (but not any that now sits in the House of Peers) and that by Reason of the Priviledge of his Peerage he could receive no Satisfaction for his just Debt. The House hereupon Ordered, That this Case should be referred to a Committee, and the Matter of Priviledge to be stated, and the Petitioner to be relieved.
From the West by Letters we had to understand of a Declaration of Col. Sir Hardress Waller, to the Counties of Devonshire and Cornwall, where he now is Commander in Chief of the Forces of those Counties, and Governor of the Castle of Pendennis. The Declaration followeth.
To prevent Mistakes, which commonly are the Beginnings and Fomentings of Differences in Mens Minds and Actions, I have thought it my Duty to publish the just and equal Designs of the Parliament, and the good Intentions of their General, his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax; in the Distribution of the Forces under my Charge, in these Two Counties of Devon and Cornwall, committed to my Care for that Principal End, the Maintenance and Preservation of the Peace and Quiet of them, and to join with them in opposing those that shall disturb either. And to that End and Purpose such Provision hath been made, that all indifferent Men may see a visible Means to case the County of any Burthen from the Soldier; and that they paying their Taxes should be wholly taken off from Free Quarter, and the Soldiers by constant Payment become an Advantage rather than a Burthen to those Places whereunto they should be design'd. For the Accomplishment whereof the Arrears of the Six Months Assesments were allotted to pay off all Supernumeraries, so as that the growing Tax might pay compleatly both all the Field Forces, as also all those belonging to Forts or Garrisons. Wherein the General's special Care and Tenderness towards these Counties is very evident, in that he sent them such a Force for their Assistance, as might come within their own Taxes to defray, by means whereof that Money should be spent amongst themselves, (which otherwise would be carried out) and so in general the Counties not impoverished, and no Soldier to take any thing (besides Lodging and House-room) but what he pays ready Money for; that so the Soldier and Countryman might live in Commerce with each other. These Premises well considered, I hope there will appear more than specious Grounds, that there might be a comfortable proceeding in this Work, to the just Satisfaction of all unprejudiced Judgments: And therefore I hold it likewise necessary to set forth what are the present Hinderances of proceeding in such a Way. First, That in Devonshire, those Horse and Foot in Plimouth, the Garrison of Dartmouth, Exmouth-Fort, and One County Troop (for all which the General's Orders were long since sent for their Disbanding, as likewise part of the Garrison of Pendennis in Cornwall, and one County Troop) are not yet Disbanded, but do all lie upon Free Quarter, or unequal Payment; to the intollerable Grievance of the County; which Disbanding was by Order of Parliament to have been performed by January 15. last past, and so from that time to be free of all Forces but what the growing Rates would defray: But it appears the not levying of the Six Months Arrears and growing Rates is the main Cause of these sad Effects. By what Occasion or Defect this Failur hath been, I do not determine; but am sure that the Inconveniencies are so great to the Country, that for want of the Levying of those Monies, not only the Supernumeraries, but all the rest of the Forces have been, and are like to continue for the most part upon Free Quarter, directly contrary to the Expectation of Parliament, the Intents of the General, and the present Practice of other parts of the Kingdom, which are generally eased of that Plague of Free Quarter, which is as burthensome upon the Minds of all honest Soldiers, as to the Sufferers therein. And therefore, since the only Remedy for these Evils is the constant and speedy paying in of the Rates, I earnestly exhort all Ministers and Officers (as they will answer it to God and their County) to act earnestly and vigorously for the getting in of these Sums; as I shall advise the People to pay chearfully, rather than to endure such far greater Burthens, as doth and will inevitably lie upon them, while they continue in Arrear; and that such as neglect or refuse to pay in their Taxes, must not only expect to have Free Quarter lie upon them, but more than an ordinary Number of Soldiers sent unto them, as the only Obstructors of the present Ease of those Counties. And if it shall please the gear God to work upon Mens Spirits, (as I hope he will) to receive these in the same Simplicity and Singleness of Heart as they are intended, I shall the more chearfully undertake all Difficulties in the Work, having for my Warrant (as I trust) a Call (something clear) from Povidence. And if we may find so much Justice as to fall under Judgments unbiass'd and unprejudiced, we shall desire to have our Doings and Consciences scann'd, according as we act for the Civil Interest of the Nation, which, methinks, should cement all English Men to act as one, though in particular Opinions (so they do not in the least Measure disturb the Publick). Men may differ (as Faces do) and yet continue the Bond of Love to one another; at least, so much to love themselves, as to study and labour their own Preservation; which, I conceive, cannot be safe, but in the well managing the Publick. And in things of so near and necessary Concernment to your selves, I presume you will not be wanting. And, I hope, I shall not fail to improve my utmost Endeavours, to act in that Station wherein God hath set me, for the Good of these Countries. Given under my Hand at my Quarters at Exon, the 14th Day of March, 1647.
Wednesday, March 15.
A Message this Day came from the Lords, whereby the House was acquainted that their Lorships had agreed to the Ordinance for Maintenance of the Army under the Command of his Excellency Sir Tho. Fairfax, as it first came up from the House of Commons to their Lordships, only with one small Amendment.
The Messenger further acquainted the House, That their Lordships had likewise agreed to the Ordinance for committing the Custody of the Great Seal of England into Hands of Commissioners of both Houses, (viz.) The Earl of Kent, Sir Thomas Widdrington, Kt. and Bulstrode Whitlock, Esq; for one Year; only their Lordships desired that the Lord Grey of Warke might be added to the said Commissioners, and that one Lord and one Commoner might be of the Quorum.
And in regard the Commissioners of the House of Commons are in the Circuits, and shall not return till the beginning of the next Term, whereby much Damage would accrue to the Subject by not having Commissions and Writs Sealed before the Term, as usually, it was desired that the Earl of Kent and Lord Grey might have Power to Sign Commissions and Writs till April the Tenth next.
The House then proceeded to hear private Petitions, according to former Order, and sat late about the Dispatch thereof, to the End the Kingdom might have Satisfaction concerning their particular Grievances: And such as the House had not time to hear this Day, they ordered that they should be dispatched on Wednesday next.
'In this his March by the way he relieved our Garrison at Cather Castle; and from thence went to Carrick (a Walled Town lying between Clonmell and Waterford upon the River Sewer which he entred, and took in a strong Castle there, (the late Seat of the Marquess of Ormond) and hath left a part of our Men to make good that Passage for Retreat, if need be, and is building of a Bridge over that River, by Means whereof the Passage between that and Dungarvon will be very well secured.
'From Carrick his Lordship Marched into Caller in Lemster, another Walled Town within Six Miles of Kilkenny, the Gate of which being blown open by a Petard, the Soldiers enter'd the Town, and therein took Two Castles by Assault, put all the Soldiers in them and the Town to the Sword, being at least Three Hundred, besides some Women, which the Soldiers Mercy would not extend to, notwithstanding Orders to the contrary. A Third Castle there, although very strong, after the outward Gate was blown open likewise by a Petard, yielded upon Quarter; there his Lordship remaining to bring in that part of the County of Kilkenny into Contribution towards the Maintenance of the Soldiers.
'The Irish supream Council is fled from Kilkenny, being fled thither from Clonmell, upon my Lord's first approach into those Parts. His Lordship hath now Four Walled Towns beyond the Sewer, (viz.) Carrick, Cassell, Fether, and Callen, together with Cather-Castle, standing upon the River for a Pass; which if well Man'd, would inall probability cause Clonmell soon to yield; and now is the time for the Parliament to take us into Consideration, and speedily relieve us both with Men and Money, so as we may be able to keep the Field, and thereby hinder the Rebels from recruiting their Army, which at present is but small, and much divided in it self, and then by God's Blessing there will the next Summer be made an end of the War in this Province. We hear for certain that Owen Roe O Neal, who had the Command of the greatest Army that the Rebels have on Foot, is dead. There have been Three Ships lately taken, laden with Ammunition, going to the Rebels at Limrick and Galloway; and lately Capt. Ball took an Irish Man of War, who did much infest these Seas.
Thursday, March 16.
The particular Case of Sir Andrew Kniston, who ought to have the Benefit of the Articles of Dudley, when Sir William Brereton's Forces laid Siege to it. And the House Ordered in Prosecution of the said Articles, that the Sequestration of his Estate should be taken off.
The House then considered of the Report from the Committee of Goldsmiths-Hall, and in particular the Case of Sir John Strangeways (who was lately admitted to Composition by special Order of the House) and past a Vote that they did accept of the Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds for the Delinquency of the said Sir John Strangeways and his Son; and further Ordered, That the said Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds should be paid, Five Thousand Pounds presently, and Five Thousand Pounds more at the passing of his Pardom (according to the Engagement of the said Sir John) and that the same be disposed of for the present Service of the Navy.
By Letters this Day from York came the Mournful News of the Death of that Noble Patriot and Grave Senator, Ferdinando Lord Fairfax, Father to the General's Excellency, now Lord Fairfax. His Sickness ('tis said) was occasioned by a Bruise on his Foot, where he had a Corn growing, which Festred and turned to a Gangreen, and with the Pain and Illness of this his Lordships, fell into a Fever, of which he died at York on Monday last; whose Death is very much lamented in those Parts.
The House this Day (upon Information of the Death of the Lord Fairfax) had Debate, and Ordered his Excellency the Lord Fairfax should be Keeper of Pontefract-Castle, Custos Rotulorum for York-shire, and Chief Ranger, &c. which Places were before held by his deceased Father.
The rest of the Day was past concerning Papists, who have the Benefit of Oxford-Articles, whether they should be admitted to Composition or no by the said Articles; and a positive Order was made in the said Case, in Prosecution of the Performance of the said Articles.
Friday, Saturday, March 17, 18.
The House this Day, according to former Order, further considered of the Confession of Faith presented from the Assembly of Divines, and spent a great part of the Day in Debate thereof, and have now well near finished the same.
The House then Ordered to adjourn from this Night to Monday Morning next, and that to Morrow the House should sit in a Grand Committee to consider of the Business of the Fens in Lincolnshire, which they did accordingly, and spent the greatest part of Saturday in Debate of that Business.
Monday, March 20.
The Merchants of the City of London this Day presented a Petition to the House of Commons, complaining therein of the great Damage that Weekly accrues to their Ships by Pirates at Sea, for want of a sufficient Convoy of Ships to guard and secure them. And likewise of the great Decay of Trade, occasioned by this great Inconveniency and Discouragement to all Merchants of the Kingdom.
The House took this Business into present Consideration, and Ordered thereupon, That this Petition of the Merchants should be referred to the Grand Committee for Trade, which is Ordered to be revived with the same Power as formerly; who were likewise to consider how all Obstructions may be removed from Trade, and to receive all Petitions concerning the Advance of the Trade of the Kingdom, and are to meet every Tuesday in the Afternoon in a Grand Committee.
A Letter was this Day read from the English Commissioners in Scotland, with a Copy of their Letters to the Mayor of Berwick, upon Notice of a Design to surprize that Town by the Royal Party, as afterwards they did. And likewise a Copy of the Mayor of Berwick's Letter in Answer thereunto was read.
The House hereupon Ordered, That a Letter of Thanks should be sent to the Mayor of Berwick, and to desire him to preserve that Place from Garrisoning according to the Treaty and Agreement between the Two Kingdoms.
The House further Ordered, in Prosecution of this Business, That his Excellency the Lord Fairfax, should be desired to give Order, that effectual Course may be taken, that the Assembling of Cavaliers, Papists, Delinquents, and all other Persons that may tend to the Surprizal of any Town or Places of Strength in the North, or other Parts of the Kingdom, or tending to the Disturbance of the Kingdom, may be prevented.
Notwithstanding Capt. Wogan's Alarm, and another Relation since his marching into Scotland, of about Two Hundred Foot lately come out of Ireland, landed at Chester, and gone that Way too by the Incitement of a Cavalier Captain, who gave them Money to drink, and told them they should have Two Months Advance in Scotland if they would go thither and Fight for the King; we yet enjoy Peace in these Parts, and go on with the Work of settling these Forces now after the Reducement of them into Quarters; Major Cholmley's Troop in Northumberland, Capt. Lilburne's in the Bishoprick, Capt Stoddart's in Derbyshire, another in Lincolnshire, all the Foot in Yorkshire. The Field-Forces since their Reducement are all Mustered.
Affairs here are in a very uncertain Condition; Divisions are great, the State is divided from the Church, and both sub-divided amongst themselves, I know not how. The Parliament is chosen, but there are of Three Parties, One for the King, which would raise an Army to espouse his Quarrel, and to restore him. Another Party would have an Army raised to suppress the Sectaries in England, but are loath thereby to engage or strengthen the Hands of Malignants in either Kingdom. The Third Party would have no Army at all raised. But although some in Parliament are for an Army for the King, the Members generally are against it. They are very apprehensive of a Rupture and that this Kingdom would then be over-run with a Spirit of Malignancy, and presently in blood.
Sunday last therefore the Ministers urged the People to adhere to the Honest Party and their first Principles; and that Friends and Enemies may the better be known, they are framing a new Oath to this Effect, (viz.) That Presbiteria Government be maintained; That the King be not restored to the Exercise of his Power, till he hath Signed our Covenant, to endeavour the Extirpation of all Sectaries and Sects, especially Erastianism; That Ecclesiastical Power is not subordinate to the Civil; That the King's Negative Voice in England be taken away.
On Thursday last, 9th, the Papers delivered in by the English Commissioners were read, and those Papers with the Reports from the Scotch Commissioners were sent to the several Bodies of the Parliament, where they yet remain
Monday there happened here a Business that might have proved of very dangerous Consequence, upon some Distaste the Treasurer took at a Passage in Mr Andrew Cant's Sermon Sunday last, being a last Day, between the Two Sermons, upon great Provocation, my Lord Trearer in Scotland, had a Challenge from the Marquess of Argile. On Monday following very early in the Morning they both met in the Field Four Miles from Edenburgh, betwen Musteburrow and Brimston; to the Marquess of Argile Major Innis was Second, to the Earl of Craford, Lindsey the Earl of Lanerick, and they were all to Fight. In the very Point of Time there came in one Major Haddon; The Earl of Lanerick said, If you will Fight, I will send for one to Fight with you. This took up some time, so as the other Lords came in. Duke Hamilton went forth, so did the Chancellor, and the greatest part of the Lords in the Town. The Business for the present is questioned, and the Parliament hath it in Consideration.
The Horse that came out of England with Capt. Wogan, are in Arms in Scotland, and have Quarters assigned them. They had some Hundreds sent them, by whom and from whom it appears not, with which they pay their Quarters. When they came upon Scots Ground they made their Colours flying, exprest abundance of Rancour against the Parliament and Army of England, and how ready they should be to join against them. Capt. Wogan is at Edenburgh, and 'tis said is to raise a Regiment.
There are Four Hundred English Foot, besides the Troop of Horse, that are in a Body in Scotland. Malignants flock in great Numbers hither. A Horse-Race was intended Tuesday last upon the Bounds near Barwick, were many Royalists, and of special Rank, were expected; under which it was conceived a Plot was to surprize the Town; but timely Notice being given to the Mayor and Burgesses by Letters from good Hands to prohibit that Meeting, is was accordingly done, and the Inhabitants are since upon their Guard to prevent any Attempt that way.
Tuesday, March 21.
This Day by Letters to the Parliament and to his Excellency the Lord Fairfax, we had to understand the Deportment of Col. Poyer, who still holds out Pembroke-Castle, refusing to yield upon the Orders of Parliament or General, but upon his own Terms. In some of the Letters it is thus written concerning him:
The Man is certainly in Two Dispositions every Day, in the Morning Sober and Penitent, but in the Afternoon Drunk and full of Plots. Some Days since he sent Four or Five of his Bullies (clad in the best Apparel he could get for them) out of the Sally-Port before Sun-Rising, and received them in again at the Gate in great Ceremony, as it they had been Princes, and then shot off some Guns for their Entertainment, giving out among the People of the Town they were Colonels and Commanders sent out of France to him by the Prince of Wales, and that more of them would follow very speedily. When he heareth News that pleaseth him, he puts forth Bloody Colours, and then he is for the King and Book of Common-Prayer; but if that Wind turn, then he is for the Oath and Covenant, and then puts forth Blue and White. On Wednesday last and Thursday he fired on us, without Cause, all the Guns he had. On Friday and Saturday he was very quiet. Yester-Night he vowed not one of us should go alive out of Town. The next News you hear will be his creeping in to us like a Spaniel. He takes it very ill the King is in the Isle of Wight, and calls the General, King Thomas Fairfax, with other opprobrious Language. We lie close and have not made one Shot at him, but we keep him up so that not a Man of his dares peep out of the Gate. He got a Gentleman the other Day, and prest him to tell him whether he was an Independent or a Presbiter? The Gentleman answered, Neither, for he was a Protestant. Why so am I, quoth Poyer, therefore let us be Merry. So in they went, and drunk so hard that neither was able to stir in Four and Twenty Hours after. A Thousand of these Stories might be told of him.
I have here sent enclosed the Answer of Col. Poyer, upon our sending to him the Ordinance of Parliament to Surrender; you will perceive by his Answer upon what Bottom he stands; that is, That the Cavaliers are engaged in Honour to make a new War, rather than he should suffer. But if they do shew their Teeth, I hope when our Men are together we shall be able to stave them off, and Muzzle this Brute Beast. Besides, I am now preparing an Arrow to send in a Message unto his Men, who I hope shortly will bring him out bound, and as many more as have run unto him since the first Summons. One of his Soldiers was coming out last Night, but miscarried. I am about to land Two whole Culverins this Day, which I believe will be a great Terror to them. We have Fourteen wounded Men, Eight whereof were shot in the Thighs, and no where else; the rest were all bruised by Stones from batter'd Walls.
The Order and Letter I read before your Drum to the Soldiers; they return this Answer, Their Arrears and Indempnity they desire; for my own Part, my Disbursements paid and my Arrears, as other Officers, according to my Place and Time of my Service: This granted, we are willing to Surrender Castle and all; if not, we are resolv'd, with the Assistance of the Almighty, to hold the Castle for the King and Parliament, according to the Covenant by us taken, until such times that our Arrears, Disbursements, and Indempnity be assured us. Our Trust is not in the Arm of Flesh, but our Hope standeth in the Name of the Lord; and if Blood be spilt, judge who shall answer it at the dreadful day of Judgment, such as seek another Man's Life to enjoy what is his Right, or that Man that stands in his Defence to save what is his. We have bestowed our Time to good Purpose, at last to be proclaimed Traitors and Rebels for demanding our own; and no more but what your self and those Mercenaries desire that you have brought to murther us, and to take Bread forth of the Mouths of our Wives and Children. I have no more but this as David spake to Saul when he hunted after his Life, The Lord be Judge between us; whose Heavenly Protection I am assured of, knowing our Cause to be Just. I have not else to trouble you with, but rest
The House of Commons this Day debated the Letters from Pembroke concerning Poyer's holding out of Pembroke-Castle, notwithstanding the Ordinance of Parliament (for declaring him Traytor if he deliver it not in Four and Twenty Hours after Sight of that Ordinance) whereby the Authority of Parliament and Army is much flighted and undervalued.
The House hereupon Ordered, That it should be referred to a Committee to confer and advise with his Excellency, and give out Orders and Directions that sufficient Forces may be sent down into South-Wales for the reducing of this Rebel and his Adherents, and the Castle of Pembroke under their Command; and for the setting the Peace of those Parts.
The House further Ordered, That it should be referred to a worthy Member of their House, to prepare and bring in an Ordinance for Removal of Poyer from his Mayoralty, and for constituting another Mayor to serve for Pembroke.
The House then considered of the Four Gentlemen that now attend his Majesty, they having had no Salary yet settled upon them. And the House then conferred a Yearly Allowance on them whilst they shall so attend his Majesty.
Then the House went on with the Report concerning the Articles of Surrender of Garrisons, it being appointed for the Business of the Day; and the Question was, whether Delinquents that are admitted to Compound upon Surrender of any Garrisons, shall by such Favour of Articles, have the Benefit to Compound for any Grants they have of any Interests in Chases, Parks, or Forrests? and it was Ordered they should not.
Wednesday, March 22.
An Ordinance was likewise read for Authorising the Committee for the College-Rents of Westminster, to proceed against such as shall refuse to pay their College-Rents; which was read and assented unto.
The Commons this Day at a Conference, presented the Lords with the Confession of Faith passed by them, with some Alterations; (viz.) That they do agree with their Lordships, and so with the Assembly, in the Doctrinal Part, and desire the same may be made Publick, that this Kingdom and all the Reformed Churches of Christendom may see the Parliament of England differ not in Doctrine. In some Particulars there were some Phrases altered, as in that of Tribute being due to the Magistrate, they put Dues; to the Degree of Marriage they refer to the Law established; Particulars in Discipline are re committed; and for the Title, they make it not A Confession of Faith, because not so running, I Confess, at the beginning of every Section; but, Articles of Faith agreed upon by both Houses of Parliament, as most suitable to the former Title of the Thirty-Nine-Articles.
Thursday, March 23.
The House this Day, according to former Order, further considered of the Articles of Oxon, which admitted of much Debate; the Question being put, whether such as are included in the Articles of Oxon shall be admitted to Composition for any Offices of Trust and Power, or the Profit thereunto belonging; and the House Ordered that they should not.
The House considered of the great Abuse of Clipped and False Money in this Kingdom, notwithstanding the Ordinance against it; and it was Ordered, That on Tuesday Morning next the House do proceed in Debate of this Business, and how it may be suppressed for the future.
Friday, March 24.
The House this Day, according to former Order, took into Consideration the Business of settling a Ministry throughout the Kingdom in vacant Places, and a great part of the Day was spent in Debate of this Business.
The House Ordered, That the Sum of Two Thousand Pounds should be advanced forth with for Repair of the Publick Library in the University of Cambridge, to the End that Learning may be countenanced, advanced, and maintained, to the Encouragement of Scholars, be advanced out of the Revenues of the Deans and Chapters.
His Excellency hath written to Col. Horton to this Effect: 'That whereas the Committee of the Army have written down to the Commissioners for Dishanding, to hasten that Business, and to remove all Cause of just Exception on the Soldiers part, by ordering the said Committee to give them all just Satisfaction in point of Money, so that they will have no Colour of refusing to Disband. That he let the Committee know, that he will assist them in that Work; and that if they refuse to disband, having those Things granted to them, and done for them that are Just and Equal, then he would improve his utmost Ability to compel thereunto: And that in Businesses of this Nature there must be no Dallying or unnecessary Delay least others, ill affected take Encouragement thereby, and make Advantages thereof to beget new Troubles. Col. Horton is also ordered to take Care, least in this Juncture of time there should be any gathering together of Forces, or Combinations, tending to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom.
His Excellency hath also written to Lieut Col. Rede at Bristol, to hasten the March of the Two Companies of Col. Overton's Regiment, designed for the Reducing of Pembroke-Castle, if they be not already there.
His Lordship hath also sent Orders to Col. Fleming, That the Parliament is very sensible of the Obstinacy of Col. Poyer in holding out the Castle of Pembroke against their Authority; and do require that all Strictness be used in Reducing thereof. That the Parliament having declared Col. Poyer a Traytor, for not rendring within the Time by them limited, he should take heed of giving him any Conditions, without first acquainting them or himself; yet if the Soldiers within the Castle being weary of such a Master, shall come to him and submit, it is left to his Discretion what to do therein.
The General has also written to Col. Powell, and Lieut. Col. Langhorne, That whereas he understands there is some Dispute amongst the Officers belonging to Major-General Langhorne's Forces, concerning their Disbanding, pretending to the Commissioners of Parliament appointed to that Service, that they desire to be disbanded together, and other Questions about the Quantities of Money to be paid upon their Disbanding; That concerning the latter, Satisfaction is given by the Committee, by Order from the Committee of Parliament for the Army. As for the other, of desiring to be Disbanded together, it is directly contrary to those Rules his Excellency hath prescribed hither-to for Disbanding; and therefore his Excellency expects that the same Obedience which has been yielded by all others, be likewise by them and that they do forthwith, upon sight Disband, Troop after Troop and Company after Company, until the Work of Disbanding be finished For that Care is taken for an exact Performance with them and their Men, to give the same Satisfaction in point of Pay, Stating Accompts, and Signing Debentures, that all have had that have been Disbanded in the Kingdom; and therefore if there be any Hesitation, it cannot be out of a good Meaning, and that his Lordship shall so interpret it; but hopes that they will so understand their Duty to the State, and quit themselves of all Blame by their ready Obedience to these Orders which are so express to them and their Men, being the last in the Kingdom that are to be Disbanded.
By the Return of the Messenger sent with these Letters, which will be sometime the next Week, we shall hear of the Resolutions both of the Governor of Pembroke, and Major-General Langhorne's Forces. We do verily believe a good Agreement in all.
Saturday, March. 25.
The House this Day received a Message from the House of Peers, whereby their Lordships returned the Ordinance for settling the Business of the Navy, with some small Amendments, which Amendments were debated and referred to a Committee.
The House further considered of the great necessity of a speedy Advance of a considerable Sum of Money for the present Service of the Navy, and Ordered that it should be referred to the Committee of the Navy to confer with the Commissioners of the customs about the Loan of Thirty Thousand Pounds for the speedy Service of the Navy, upon the Credit of the Customs, and likewise to consider with Merchants and others about the speedy Loan of this Sum.
A Letter came from his Excellency the Lord Fairfax, recommending some Gentlemen of the County of Hert, who had a Proposition to make on the Behalf of the poor maimed Soldiers and Widows of the Kingdom, that a sufficient Maintenance may be allowed for them, and they well maintained, without any Charge to the Kingdom, by Collection or otherwise.
The House considered of the Petition of Major General Browne's Brigade, in relation to their Arrears, and ordered that the Accompts of the said Forces should be referred to the Committee of the Army to be Stated and Audited as the rest of the Soldiers of the Kingdom.
By Letters from the Committee of Dorset was given to understand a great Disturbance or Rising in that County by reason of Malignant Persons: One Mr. Wake, who pretended himself Pastor to a gathered Church of large Extent, consisting all of Cavaliers, some dwelling as far as Exeter, to whom he readeth the Common-Prayer, Baptizeth, Marrjeth, Burieth, and giveth the Sacrament to them at his Church (as he calls it) at Brainston, to the great Disturbance of the Country, and general Distraction of the Quiet of the Kingdom, and his high Affront to the Authority of Parliament; which the Committee at Dorchester being very sensible of (upon Information) twice by their Warrants apprehended the said Pastor and some of his chief Confederates, who both times were rescued by the rude Multitude, Men and Women, with Clubs and Staves, and with the Assistance of one Major Uvedall, a Cavalier, carried the said Wake to Blandford, boasting of their Victory. The Officers who apprehended the said Wake were likewise very ill used, stripped of their Cloaths, Beaten, Wounded and threatned to be Hang'd; also some Justices of the Peace sitting at Blandford very evil intreated about the same. This Business being by Letters certified to the Committee at Derby-House, was by them represented to the General, the Lord Fairfax, to take Order for sufficient Assistance by his Forces, for apprehending the Chief Actors in this Riot, and to prevent the like for the future.
The General hath accordingly sent Col. Scroop, who lieth with his Regiment thereabouts, to be assistant to the Committee and Justices of Peace of that County, for the apprehending the Chief Actors in this Riot; and that he also draw such a considerable Number of his Regiment into Blandford to Quarter as he shall think fit, to prevent the like Rising or Tumult for the Future.
He hath likewise sent Orders to all Quarters of his Army, that they be assistant upon all Occasions for the Suppressing of Mutineers, and that they have an Eye to all Gatherings of Malignant Parties, and to disperse them before they grow to a Head.
From the Isle of Wight by Letters was given to understand of a new Design in Agitation to carry away the King, but was discovered before it came to Perfection. Some in Office to his Majesty are discharged upon it. His Majesty is in Health, and walks about the Castle-Walls, and to the new Bowling-Green sometimes.
Some Intimation was given this Night of a Design against Dover-Castle by Commission of Prince Charles out of France, but Care is taken to prevent and further secure the Castle, if any such thing was intended.
Monday, March 17.
A Letter this Day came to the House of Commons from Mr. Lord and the rest of the Commissioners at Pembroke-Castle, of a Defeat given by the Forces under the Command of Col. Poyer, and some of the Forces under the Command of Major-General Langhorne, who are joined together against the Forces of Col. Fleming, and of seizing their Ordnance, Arms and Ammunition, and prossessing themselves of Pembroke-Castle and Tenby. The Particulars are thus certified:
The unruly Company of Major-General Langhorne's own Foot, who were left without any Commander, save only an Ensign that they commanded by Violence at their Pleasure, on Thursday last consented to relieve and assist Col. Poyer in his Rebellion; and to that Purpose one Serjeant Henry Stevens repaired to him into the Castle that Night, with about Twelve or Fourteen of the Soldiers: On Friday Night last one of the Soldiers was sent again from the Castle to draw in the rest of the Company, and to bring the Commissioners (who were then upon the Work of Disbanding) with them; to which Purpose they gathered themselves together in a Tumultuous Way, and seized the Persons of Mr. William Phillips, Mr. Tho. Barloe, Mr. Sedgwick, a Godly Minister, and Mr. Lort, the Parliament's Commissioners; the rest got out of the Town: After they had sufficiently abused them in the House where they were on the Service, they brought them into the Street, and carried them disgrace-fully into the Castle, where after they had imprisoned and abused their Persons, they brought them all (save Mr. Tho. Barloe) to the Key so soon as the Tide served, being at the going in of the Night, and shipped them into one Boat together, with as many of themselves as the Boat could hold, and the rest shipped themselves into Three Liters and Boats more, all armed and their Swords drawn, with most hideous Oaths and Execrations to bring them along with them to Pembroke-Castle, where they were all resolved to go that Night. But the Providence of God (beyond all Humane Hope) prevented them, and brought them off before Day the next Morning; yet many of them that Night, and on Sunday and Monday Nights got into the Castle; and Yesterday Morning between Seven and Eight of the Clock they sallied out of the Castle and fell on our Main Guard, pelting on them with their Ordnance and small Shot extreamly thick: Our Men having, for want of Assistance, been Day and Night upon Duty and tired out, were over pressed, and many killed, hurt, and taken Prisoners, and forced to quit the Town, they persuing far after into the Country. We cannot certainly tell what is become of Col. Fleming. We had provided Two whole Culverins of Brass, being fortified Guns taken out of the Expedition Regis, one of the Parliament's Ships, with Ammunition and Seamen to assist us in the Service, thinking to have fallen to Batter on the Castle the next Day, all which are taken.
By this Means our former destroyed Country is again become into a miserable Condition, and the well-affected are now the third time sure to be stripped of all, except the Lord in great Mercy by some unexpected Providence relieve us. Believe it, if great Care be not speedily taken to suppress this Cockatrice in the Egg, he will be able to raise a new War, all Men in these Parts generally fearing him. Some speedy Course must be taken that a Party of Horse or Dragoons or both may be dispatch'd down to keep Col. Poyer from Victualling the Town and Castle, both which he is now well able to keep; and if he should have time to Victual it, which I am sure he will be very diligent to do, it will cost above a Thousand Mens Lives to regain it.
Malignants are very active in these Parts, and scattering Reports of that Nature as may prepare the People for sudden Insurrections. It is informed from good Hands, that a Declaration is preparing in these Parts for the King and Common Prayer-Book, and is penn'd by one Col. Culpepper in Caermarthen, who is shortly to repair to the West of Devonshire or Cornwall to advance it there. Col. Poyer hath courted some Gentlemen of Estate, which have been on the King's Side, to raise Men for the King, and they have denied it; others have promised to raise Men for him. There are frequent Meetings of Malignants; but the wisest of them either drive up their Design even with the Scots, or else hope to raise the Scots higher, and to make them more confident by such Offers as shall be made them from the Countries by the Malignants.
We have now Advice of that Spark at Pembroke to be grown into a Flame, which if not timously prevented may set the whole Kingdom on a Fire: Poyer having routed some of Col. Fleming's Men, killed some, taken others Prisoners, and dispersed the rest. With him are combined Langhorn's Men, and a Party in the adjacent Counties. A Frigat came lately to the Castle, and is again dispatch'd from thence, 'tis conceived, from France: and as is reported, one of the Parliaments Ships being on Ground, one Night was surprized by them in the Castle. Help forward speedy Supplies in this Exigent, otherwise we may see what we cannot remedy if we would, that whole Country being full of inveterate Malignants.
The House upon debate of this Business Ordered, That on Thursday next they would meet and consider of the Business of settling this Kingdom, and that the General be desired to send a considerable Party against Poyer; which is accordingly directed by his Excellency to be done.
Letters this Day were likewise read from the English Commissioners in Scotland, concerning the Affairs there, and giving the House an Account of their Transactions. Some of the Letters mention as followeth.
'The Parliament at Edenburgh set close, and yet not so close but that some have time still to challenge each other, and particularly the new made Earl of Kenmore and the Lord Cranstone, who went into the Field and fought, but were parted before any hurt was done. They are Two of the bravest young Peers of Scotland, the one allied to Duke of Hamilton, the other to General Levin; so that the Difference seems still to be great. The Committee of Danger is Eighteen in Number, Six Lords, Six Barons of Shires, and Six Burgesses of Towns; these are to manage Affairs, as is apprehended after the Parliament shall be put to an end; most of them, and some Letters say, all but Two for War. The Declaration of the Commissioners of the Kirk, mentioned last, was ordered to be read in Churches; but Mr. Andrew Ramsey, and Mr. Colin, Ministers in Edenburgh, of the Old Church, refused; which, it's believed, will occasion a Censure. In all Probability, the Result of things will be made by the next Posts coming, and whether Peace or War. There are daily many English come hither; and for Horses, we in Northumberland can hardly keep any; the High-Sheriff and Two Justices of the Peace, having had stolen, or taken and carried into Scotland, above Twenty, and knowing them to be in the Possession of some belonging to a Lord upon the Borders, have demanded them and some other Cattle; but no Restitution being made, the Sheriff and Two Justices are gone to Edenburgh to try to get them: So that the many Horses caught up or stolen in the Southern Parts, which it seems is very frequent, you may guess which way they go. They talk of being suddenly 1000 Horse, English, in these Parts, as Northumberland and other Northern Counties; there are such Fears and such Joys; Fears will sure make many (who otherwise would not) comply: Joy of Papists and Malignants carries them so high, that they can scarce afford the contrary Party a Look, so great Hopes have they set themselves. This Town is watchful; there is at Chop-Welledge On Wednesday next a great Horse Race, Fourteen Horses run, which hath not been usual of late times. As for the Vote at Edenburgh of raising Forty Thousand Horse and Foot to go into England, so confidently reported; and that it was passed when the Marquess of Argile was absent the House by reason of the Duel, and that Sixty should have protested against it, seems to be rather a Dream than a real Thing: That any State should Vote an Army, and so War against another Kingdom, and nothing said by way of Accusation or Wrong done to them; at least not first certified and published, is one of the great Wonders: It's true, there is Rumours of War, and Men take a Liberty to talk as they please, and the Soldiers. among the rest, say they will not go in again to live upon Free Quarter, but will have Money or constant Pay.
The House, upon Debate of the Business from Scotland, Ordered, that the whole House should be called, and all the Members absent to be Summoned by the Sheriffs of the several Counties, to attend the House on the 24th of the next Month; and that this Order be printed and sent to the Sheriffs of the several Counties by the Members of the House that serve for those Counties.
And that for the time to come the House Ordered, That they and all other Oaths of the like Nature, should be referred to the Consideration of a Committee, to consider of what part of them are fit to be taken, and what part to be omitted, that this Inconveniency may be hereafter prevented.
An Ordinance this Day past the House of Commons, for settling the place of Receiver-General of York upon Mr. Fawke, a well-affected and deserving Gentleman, and one that has suffered much in these latter. Times, which was assented unto, and ordered to be sent to the Lords for their Concurrence.
It is not without an unanswerable Proportion of Reluctancy to so heavy an Inconvenience, that we are thus frequently put upon the Asserting of our own Fidelities to the Services of the Honourable Houses; whereunto as we have by several Evidences (the Mention whereof we make without Vain-Glory) manifested our selves sincerely Faithful: So hath it pleased the Divine Providence to prosper our Endeavours with very many improbable Successes; to the Attainment whereof, though we have struggled through all the Difficulties, and contended with all the Sufferances that a People unsupplied with all necessary and secondary Means could undergo, yet have we encountred nothing of that Disaffection or Discouragement, as we find administred unto us by a constant Observation, that it is as well in the Power as it is in the Practice of our malicious and indesatigable Enemies, to place and foment Differences upon us, not only to our extream Scandal and Disgrace (which we should the less resent, if their Malice could terminate in us) but to the obstructing of the Supplies ordered and designed for the Publick Service, and to the irrepairable Prejudice thereof, which our Enemies can value at so low a Rate, as to put it into that Bargain they are in hand to make for our Destruction. It being very approvable by us that several Persons in Power there do interpose their Endeavours to continue us, by the impeding of Supplies, in a desperate, languishing and perishable Condition upon the Place, and in a despicable and doubtful Esteem with the Honourable Houses. Whereof there will need no other Instances, than that after the several Promises made by Letters from the Honourable Committee at Derby-House, and Votes past for transmitting Supplies unto us, especially in the Case of Major-General Starling, his being sent to attend the Pleasure of the Houses, the only Remora then alledged to make stay of Seven Thousand Suits of Cloaths and Ten Thousand Pounds in Money, being before designed for our Relief, there is no more than Two Thousand Seven Hundred Pounds sent unto us in Money, and thereof but One Thousand Five Hundred Pounds designed for the feeding of us and the Soldiers under our Command. And that notwithstanding the signal Testimony given of our real Intentions and Affections to that Cause and Service in a late Engagement against the Rebels at Knocknesse, which we touch at without any Affectation of Vain-Glory, the Votes then renewed for our Relief, and the Order for our Indempnity (which was conceived would not have found so much Hesitation with those whose Service we had only profest) are laid aside, and nothing effectual or advantageous done in order thereto for our avail, save the transmittal of the Two Thousand Seven Hundred Pounds; but on the contrary, new Jealousies and Distrust of us are re-embraced and fomented.
It is not therefore so insupportable a Discomfort to us, to observe our own Lives exposed a Sacrifice to the Malice of our now Potent Publick Enemies who, by the Conjunction of Three several Armies, are not more encouraged to confront us in the Field, than we by the Art and Practice used to with-hold those just and necessary Supplies from us, disabled to join Battle with them; as to observe our Honourable Reputation and Integrity (dearer to us than our Lives) brought into such frequent Question, and unworthily mangled, depraved, and slaughtered by the calumnious Aspersions of our Powerful and Prevailing Adversaries, in despight of all our zealous and cordial Endeavours to give indubitable Testimony and Evidence of our Fidelities. What if we be beyond any common Measure afflicted and dismayed, we are confident that all Persons of Honour will acknowledge that we have much more than common Cause. And now that our Adversaries have prevailed to deprive us not only of all Hopes of subsisting here in your Service, but have proceeded for to provide that we may not live hereafter but out of your Favour: So having intercepted and preverted the Comfort we well hoped to have received from other Testimones of our Sincerity, they have only left us this Expedient to testify our Mindfulness of our Duty by, which is to give humble Intimation to that Honourable House, that we are involved in so great and extream Exigences of Distress and universal Want, with the Pressure of Three joint Armies upon our weak and naked Forces, that there remains no humane Means discernable amongst us to subsist by any longer in this Service, unless it shall stand with the Pleasure and Piety of those, in whose Service we have exhausted both our Blood and Livelihoods, to send us some seasonable and considerable Supplies, or that we should be enforced to entertain such Terms as the Rebels will give us; which of all Things we abominate, knowing our Necessities will render them such as must be most obstructive and dishonourable; and therefore shall resolve of making that the last Expedient to preserve our own and many Thousands of poor Protestants Lives by; or that it shall please the honourable Houses to send Shipping to fetch us off. And so in discharge of our Duties both to God and Man, we humbly offer to Consideration, and remain.
I Being present (amongst other Gentlemen of this County) on Wednesday at Withington, within Three Miles of Hereford, at the Disbanding of a Regiment of Horse under the Command of Major Richard Hopton, who hath been very Faithful and Valiant in the late Cause; whereof we in this County have had sufficient Testimony by many gallant and brave Actions which he performed with this Regiment, which (I presume) is also well known to your self. The Manner of their Disbanding was thus: The Regiment, consisting of about Five Hundred Horse, being with their Officers all met at Withington, they were by the Major and Officers, acquainted with the Orders of Parliament, and of his Excellency the Lord Fairfax, for their Disbanding; whereunto they were very ready; and yet loth to part one with another (even like Persons brought up in one Family) for their Affections were so entire to their Major, and so woven into one another, though joyful to Disband, yet parted with Tears, which did produce the like from many of our Countrymen (which indeed) made it seem rather a Funeral than a Disbanding. Yet Two of these Troops that were Disbanded did at first Mutiny, which the Major appeased with his own Troop, and then Disbanded the other Horse, and last of all his own Troop; who, after pathetical Speech made unto them by the Major, did all unanimously express their Readiness and Chearfulness to engage with him again upon an Hour's Warning in the Service of the Parliament; and then Fired every Man his Pistol on the Ground, and so departed unto a Place where the Major had very nobly provided for them a Hogshead of Wine, wherewithall, after they had refrained their Tears, they refreshed their Spirits, and so departed every Man to his Home, in abundance of Love and Civility, with Two Months Pay, their Horse and Arms; expressing their Resolutions to the Parliament, and their Affections to the Major, with a great deal of Courage. The Major himself went to Hereford, with a Party of Horse that would needs attend him, and a Gentleman carried a Lawrel-Tree before him, as an Emblem of future Peace; which did extreamly possess the Affections and Hearts of the whole City and County; and for which he heartily prays, that is
Tuesday, March 28.
The House this Day, according to former Order, considered of settling the Business of the Admiralty, which is of great Importance to this Nation, many Merchants having lately suffered much for want of this. The Ordinance for this Purpose was read, and much Debate had thereon; at last it was assented unto, and ordered to be transmitted to the House of Peers.
The House then considered of settling the Jurisdiction of the Admiralty; and the Question was, Whether by One Judge or Three? Upon this the House had much Debate, and Ordered, That Three Judges should be appointed for this Business: and that an Ordinance should be brought in for this Purpose, with a Blank for the Names of these Three Judges.
The House Ordered, That the Sum of Five Hundred Pounds should be paid by the Treasurer at Goldsmiths. Hall, for the buying of some Books in the Original Tongues for a Library for the University of Cambridge.
Both Houses this Day read a Letter from the Lord, Inchequin, who seems to be full of Discontents and Necessities of the Soldiers in the Province of Munster. The House Ordered, That this Letter should be referred to the Committee at Derby-House, who were to report their Opinions hereupon on Friday next; on which Day the House Ordered that the Ordinance for the Relief of Ireland should be read.
Ordered by the Commons, That the Committee of the Army do prepare a Letter to be Signed by Mr. Speaker, and sent to the Committee of the County of Somerset, to require them forthwith to raise and pay Monies Ordered for the Regiment Ordered to march from Bristol to South-Wales, according to the Order of the General; and that Notice be taken of the Obstructions that have been in raising the said Pay, to the great Prejudice of the Service, by the altering of the Rates at this Conjuncture; and to require them to proceed according to the former settled Ways and Rates, and make no Disturbance by Alterations at this time.
Wednesday, March 29.
Thursday, March 30.
A Petition was this Day read in the House of Commons, in the Name of many of his Majesty's Servants, who have adhered to the Parliament, and constantly attended them; desiring some part of their Arrears, for their present Support and Maintenance of themselves, their Wives and Families. The House hereupon Ordered, That it should be referred and recommended to the Committee of the King's Revenue, to take Care that these Officers may have Allowance in some Proportion, before any other of the King's Servants.
The rest of this Day was spent in Debate of the Business of Ireland. An Officer coming thence this Day, acquainted some Members of the House, That he had something of great Importance to acquaint them with; and desired that he might have leave to acquaint the House therewith. Whereupon the House called him in, and he made his Relation to the House.
The House hereupon Ordered the Doors to be shut, and no Member to go thence till Twelve of the Clock; and after much Debate the Result of all was, That Col. Jephson, Mr. Falloway, and Mr. Swinson, should go as Commissioners to the Lord Inchequin, into the Province of Munster.
Friday, March 31.
An Information was this Day given to the House against a Member thereof, that he had spoken some Words about Twelve Months since, upon which the House had some Debate; and Ordered, That the said Member should have Notice thereof, and summoned to attend the Service of the House, and to give Answer to the said Information. The House then fell into Debate concerning the Business of the Church, and spent a great part of the Day in Debate of this Business.
Another Ordinance was read for the better Observance of the Lord's Day, Days of Humiliation, Days of Thanksgiving, and all other Days set apart and commanded by the Authority of Parliament to be observed; which was read the first and second time, and ordered to be committed.
A Letter this Day from Pembroke of a Tumultuous Rising of the Country People in those Parts, and of the sad Effects that have and may ensue thereon, if not speedily suppressed and prevented by the Judgment of the Parliament, and the Endeavours of the Army. The House hereupon Ordered, That this whole Business of Wales should be referred to the Lord General, to take speedy and effectual Care therein.
The House then Ordered, That they would take into Consideration to Morrow the Business of Increase of Trade in this Kingdom, and that nothing should intervene; this being a Business of great Importance to this Nation: and Mr. Speaker was to put the House in Mind thereof presently after Prayers are done.